Need a new vacuum but I can't commit to a dyson

jra2127June 10, 2009

I know this has been discussed many times. So many times that it is difficult to follow all of the threads so here it is again.

I have a great vacuum. A 1970's Panasonic. It doesn't look pretty, the cord is always a tangled mess that has to be untangled before every use and the clips to wrap it up are long gone but it does suction-wise its job very well. I hate to get anything else because I don't want to be disappointed with something new that doesn't work as well. But...its belts keep breaking and we can't find ones that fit so everytime we have to buy wider and cut the belts down to size. Plus, I have a feeling that it is only a matter of time.

I don't really want a dyson. Sure, the warranty and the washable filters sound great but for $500+ dollars, I think a lot of the $500 is for the trend. I don't mind $500 if I know that it will work like my panasonic but I read so much dyson's great/dyson's not worth the money to be convinced that dyson's the way to go.

I hate bags so how about a bagless bissell or new panasonic or an electrolux. I don't want a kirby besides the money I want to be able to whip out the wand when I pass a cobweb in the corner or I will forget about it and miss it.

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Do you have a friend or relative with a Dyson that you could try (at their house of course). I helped my SIL clean a house where there was a Dyson and that is how I got hooked.

That said, I will tell you that every Bissell I've owned has been a HEAVY, LOUD, hunk-of-junk. Same goes for Dirt Devil.

I used to have a Panasonic and I liked it very much as well -- it was not bagless though, and did not have all the bells and whistles.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:22PM
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What are you cleaning with your vacuum cleaner? Wall-to-wall carpeting? Area rugs? Hardwood floors? How much of each? Are you carrying the vacuum up and down stairs?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:25PM
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What is the model number of our Panasonic? If the motor still sounds good, you could still use the Panasonic and replace the cord hooks and replace the brushroll bristles. Your vacuum would seem new to you again, if you just went ahead and replaced the brushroll bristles.

Look into Riccar and Simplicity vacuum cleaners. They are related brands, with similar models. They make a line that is very similar to your present Panasonic. Check out the link below. They have some models with "quick-release" wand. They have a good warranty and are durable vacuum cleaners. These two brands also have more premium lines of vacuum cleaners, but they will cost more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Riccar Vibrance

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:50AM
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I have bedrooms and a living room with carpet, otherwise it is hardwood which I don't really vacuum, but I do like to use the wand for the toe kick under the cabinets. I guess loud doesn't bother me, I have always had loud and it would tone out the kids for a least a few minutes! But heavy is another thing. I have stairs that are carpet and have never found a vacuum that is not a balancing act when it comes to them. I would love to find something that works well with them because they are the main entrance to the house and get filthy.

My panasonic has NO bells or whistles and it's not bagless either, but it works and I think we are past the point where you can get replacement parts-we can't even get belts for it. Thanks for that advise though, my husband keeps telling me that he will put a new cord on, but I have yet to see that happen.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:46AM
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LOVE my 'Dyson Animal'--hate the on-board tools--very unwieldy to use IMHO!
The hose is too short and too tight to stretch out long enough, as you need to do, so often!

How they could have EVER put together a package like that with a system that cleans so very well,
I'll never understand!! Obviously, those who tried out the combo, before it hit the market, never
cleans a house themselves!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:08PM
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Where are you getting $500 for a Dyson? I see sales all the time, anywhere from half that (or less if you're lucky) to $350.

Try a refurbished Dyson. That was the first one I had, and it lasted years til I got a new one (which I only got cause it was new and half priced.)

I sold the old one for exactly what I paid for it. It worked perfectly.

Try Amazon for good dyson prices, no tax, and free shipping.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 6:02PM
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Well I have been looking for a year and I have yet to see a dyson for $250. I get $500 from the price tag and I don't believe in buying the cheapest model just so I can have a Dyson, because I don't be believe that they are the be all and end all of vacuums. Also, part of the benefits of a dyson is the 5 year warranty, which does not come with refurbished-refurbished is 6 months.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Really, the cheapest model Dyson is just fine. I've had mine for six years. (I'm not trying to talk you into a Dyson, just saying that the low end ones work as well and are substantially the same as the more costly ones.)

As for warranties, all too often they aren't worth the paper they are written on.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:31PM
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There are as many opinions on vacuum cleaners as there are posters here. I agree with the suggestion that you could replace your brush strips and power cord and still have a great machine (Panasonics have stood up to the test of time). But, if you want to get a new machine, I would definitely look to a smaller, independent shop where you can take your time and try out each of the machines in the store. Probably the biggest complaint people have with the big box retailers is that they can't try out the machine and see how well it performs.

Sears will also let you try the machines, too. Take some time, see how heavy the machines are and what kind of suction and agitation they have. Riccar/Simplicity are great brands as are some of the Kenmore models (many of which are made by Panasonic).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:45PM
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"I would definitely look to a smaller, independent shop where you can take your time and try out each of the machines in the store."

Good advice. I purchased a Hoover canister Windtunnel Anniversary model. I like canisters over uprights, but that's just me. For me, the ease of use and ability to maneuver is key. I tried it out at a local sewing machine and vacuum shop and was very impressed with the bang for the buck. I did look at the Simplicity, which they carry, but for the difference in $$ ($150), and the recommendation from the shop owner, I decided on the Hoover. He said he just started carrying Hoover canisters again (carries uprights) because it's been a while since he felt they were worthy. It has a 3-year warranty, which is what the Simplicity model I looked at had. He also price-matched a local department store, which saved me an additional $50. I got it for $300. The Simplicity would have cost me $500. So far, so good. I have had an Electrolux and 2 Kenmore Progressives. The first one I gave to my DS when he got his own apartment, and the second one literally stopped dead in its' tracks after 2.5 years. I decided to stay away from Sears Kenmore because I feel a bit gun shy LOL. The comparable Progressive model goes for almost $500. The Hoover does a better job picking up than my Kenmore did, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 1:52PM
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Got my Dyson for $189--Target had the one with the ball on clearance about 2 years ago. I couldn't let that kind of deal slip away, so I bought it. Before using it, I had my sister bring hers over (she paid $500+ for hers). I vacuumed my bedroom thoroughly with my old vacuum and then went back over it with her Dyson. Unbelievable the amount of dirt & dust the Dyson picked up that was still left ater using my old machine. That clinched the deal for me & I unpacked my own new Dyson.

Other posters are right about the tools on board being awkward and the short hose. But it works great! If you can find one, definitely get the one with the ball--it is soooo much easier to maneuver than the standard vacuum style.

One tip--when emptying the canister, slide the bottom of the canister down into an empty plastic shopping bag, then push the release button to empty. Doing it this way significantly decreases the amount of "dust plume" when the dirt is expelled.

Keep looking for a good deal-Target (usually better deals instore vs. online), Lowe's, eBay,'ll find one that is available at a great price! And if you can't find one at a reduced price that you can "live with", just use my sister's rationale when she bought hers--1 Dyson @$500 will keep her house cleaner for many years vs. buying 3 or more $150 vacuums in that same amount of time, so it's a wash when you look at the big picture (and that's if you don't count the aggravation and time spent hunting up another new $150 vacuum). Happy hunting!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 11:54AM
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I was told by a reliable vac repair guy that the ball models show up for repairs moreso than the other models which show up frequently as well

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 1:17PM
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LOVE my 'Dyson Animal'--hate the on-board tools--very unwieldy to use IMHO!
The hose is too short and too tight to stretch out long enough, as you need to do, so often!

I would agree completely. The hose is too short and stiff, making it awkward to use. The concept sounds great in theory but works lousy in practice.

As for the OP. Dyson's are nice vacuums but there plenty of other good choices as well. I don't think you need or should spend more than $350 (plus tax, maybe) for a decent vacuum. Dyson's go one sale (ask the fine folks at Sears, they work on commission so they'll let you know what's going on) and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a Kenmore (Panasonic) either.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:01AM
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We have owned Dyson, Hoover, etc. We now own the best vacuum I have ever seen our used. Sebo. Made in Sweeden. It is hepa rated and used a great deal in hopsitals. Not cheap (6-800) but when you see what a great job it does on your carpets, it will be well worth it. I highly recommend.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:37AM
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